The NBA D-League Select team have certainly made an impression so far in Sin City. The team is 2-0, and are heading into their third contest with a full head of steam. NBA D-League Head Coach of the Year Alex Jensen, spoke with RidiculousUpside.com after his team won in impressive fashion over the Los Angeles Clippers.
"The D-League is underrated, the players are underrated, and for the few people that are in the D-League and watch it, they realize that. However, the masses don't realize it." Jensen commented.
In the D-League Select team's second game, a familiar NBADL face added scoring power via countless trips to the charity stripe. Elijah Millsap converted 15 of his 20 attempts from the foul line, as his aggressive play helped set the tone for the entire team. Millsap would classify as one of the underrated talents that Jensen touched on, especially as a versatile and unique scorer.
Jensen added, "players win games, and these guys are really good players. Hopefully people are seeing that, because we've only had four days of practice together. We have guys that realize the best offense is playing great defense, and that is really helping us out here." The D-League Select squad improved upon their defensive effort after their first contest against Minnesota. The team held the Clippers to 41.9% shooting from the field, and 28.0% from beyond the arc.
After winning NBADL Coach of the Year honors this past season, Jensen has since taken a job with the Utah Jazz, as the team's director of player development. Jensen came into the head coaching position after spending four seasons as an assistant coach with Saint Louis University. In his second season with Canton, Jensen led the team to the playoffs once again, but were ousted by the Tulsa 66ers in the first round. Yet, in both of his seasons as head coach in Canton, Jensen's emphasis on defense clearly showed as his squads seemed to always wreak havoc on their opponents.
"Our players are extremely hard-working, and as coaches we can't take the credit for that." Jensen concluded. The NBADL Select team will take on the Dallas Mavericks next, as they try to position themselves for the newly added playoff format. Jensen's club has shown that they are focused on the task at hand, and are clearly playing with a passion that is quite rare comparatively with the other clubs.
As seen in the D-League, winning is the ultimate way to showcase your talent, and the players in Las Vegas who make up this D-League Select roster understand that.